Fear. Face everything and recover.
Here comes the anxiety, in suffocating waves, in doubt, negative self-talk, regret. What have I done? How can I survive being this brutally honest, KNOWING people are judging my choice to share myself in this manner? Because people judge. We all do, no matter how hard we try not to or claim to be above it. We have opinions and preconceived notions from being bombarded with stereotyping and comparison from the moment we enter this world. No one is immune. We only vary in the degree we are willing to challenge what we are told is ‘true’ and decide for ourselves to open our minds and hearts to the possibility that we have been fed fear-based lies. I truly believe fear drives judgment and that’s why I try really hard not to blame anyone for their opinions. Because I can relate. I am terrified too. I am questioning my choice to bare my soul, to invite scrutiny and judgment (damn, why can’t I think of a synonym to make this sound less redundant? <— see, JUDGMENT) in this so very open way…I mean, come on, this shit's supposed to be anonymous. It says so in the book(s). Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous (you get the point). And there's very good, well thought out reasons for that. And I fully agree with and respect those reasons. I also know I've spent most of my life living anonymously. Hiding my pain, my unhealthy choices, and selectively sharing pieces of myself with people along the way. This has left me fragmented. I'm tired of not feeling whole, of the anxiety that accompanies keeping secrets at any level. So I have chosen this route, to be honest with everyone at whatever cost, consequences be damned (because I am not naive enough to think opening myself up this way will be without consequence). That's why I have to say, come what may. If I lose friends, my job, your respect, so be it. I can't care today. I don't have the energy. I have to go with what works for me. And today that's this. Tomorrow it may not be. But I only have today.
Note: I am not speaking on behalf of any fellowship and hold the anonymity of them in highest regard…that's not what I'm talking about here and I want to make that crystal clear. And my involvement in any of these fellowships will honor the principles that render them effective.